215. Let me begin by reiterating that the United States is absolutely committed to working on and identifying practical ways to increase access to safe, effective, and affordable medicines around the world, and to support policies that drive development of new medicines. As we have made clear in our past statements and interventions on the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, "the narrowly focused mandate of the Panel was flawed" and led to outcomes that fail to "adequately address this complex issue. The result includes conclusions that further this narrow perspective, raising fundamental questions regarding the legitimacy of those conclusions."
216. When this topic was discussed at the November 2016 TRIPS Council, there was lack of consensus and widely divergent views over the Report amongst WTO Members. Outside of the TRIPS Council, there has been no dearth of events held, articles written, and a wide variety of views and positions expressed. Similarly, parties have not found common ground on any of these issues. We further note that the Panel itself was unable to come to consensus on its key recommendations, with two of the panellists — the two who had the most extensive experience in managing R&D portfolios — warning that the Report’s recommendations could result in serious negative unintended consequences for research and development.
217. These concerns have also been expressed by a large group of stakeholders, including from the research-based biopharmaceutical industry, patients, research universities, and inventors.
218. We have, of course, listened to the interventions today, and do note that the Panel's work has been concluded. However, we have heard a wide range of proposals today. Before we end this discussion we would like to seek clarity as to what is being proposed. There has been at least three different pieces of proposals that have been voiced, and I think that we would definitely like to discuss that before we end this agenda item.